March 27, 2022 In Agusta, chopper

Agusta chopper scam: Shashi Kant colluded with IAF officials, alleges CBI

Aemilius Cupero News:

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has alleged that Shashi Kant Sharma, former defence secretary, in collusion with other Indian Air Force (IAF) officials, indulged in a series of calculated manipulations to favour M/s AgustaWestland in the ₹3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal, people in the know have said.

In its supplementary chargesheet filed last week, the agency has cited such instances wherein Sharma allegedly conspired with the IAF officials in according preferential treatment to the British company. Sharma, an 1976 batch IAS officer who served as Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) till September 2017, along with four IAF officials were charge sheeted by the agency last week. The CBI had received sanction from the government to prosecute them after two years.

The agency has alleged that the Russians were rejected on the grounds of technicality. The people quoted above said that the Russians had sought exemption from filing earnest money deposit (EMD). But this was turned down by Sharma.On the other hand, AgustaWestland had filed the earnest money deposit but it was not in accordance with the rules. However, even after discovering that AgustaWestland’s EMD did not conform to the rules, it was allowed to replace its EMD.

As per the contract, each vendor needed to have a nationalised bank for its EMD. But at the time of submission of its original EMD, AgustaWestland did not have a nationalised bank, the agency has alleged. The agency has alleged that despite knowing that Sikorsky S-92, the American medium-lift helicopter, was not compliant for field trials, the members of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) cleared the same. This was done to ensure that a single vendor situation does not arise. Because in such an eventuality, a fresh request for proposal (RFP) would have to be issued, said people in the know.

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